Government's "new" great childcare plan....

(395 Posts)
duende Mon 18-Mar-13 18:09:09

I know there was a thread about it here a few weeks ago, but now a bit more detail is available:

parents to get 20% of childcare cost back

Now, I can't help but see it as a bit of a con. First of all, annoyed by how they sell it - our childcare bill is closer to 10-12k, so £1200 per year is NOT 20%.
Also, at the moment, both me and DP get the full amount available in childcare vouchers, which they will abolish. I get £243 per month, DP gets £220, and I am a higher tax payer.
Surely we will not be better off with this great new deal they have come up with?

Also, this will only be available to families where both parents work, current childcare voucher scheme is not restricted this way.

Am I missing something here, or are they about to screw people over again whilst dressing it as a positive move??

ReallyTired Fri 22-Mar-13 22:26:16

A lot of childcare providers for older children will not accept the vouchers. In my area childcare providers who accept the vouchers charge more than those who don't which more than slightly defeats the object.

I fear the IT costs of setting up this new system will be horrendous. Yet more tory stupidity in action.

MrAnchovy Sat 23-Mar-13 00:25:15

"So, can DH continue to claim £243 a month, but I have new voucher account and claim £1200 per child?

Presumably not, but how much admin will all that take to unpick who's claiming what, who's employed by who."

As everyone keeps saying the finer details are yet to be worked out but what IS clear is that you will not be able to claim both "old style" and "new style" vouchers for the same child.

This won't take any admin by HMRC, you will be expected to work out yourself what you are entitled to and tick a box in the online application confirming, on pain of death, that you have got it all correct and if anything changes you will inform them before you even find out about it yourself.

What I'm saying, is the 'old vouchers continuing' is nonsense if it doesn't mean you can continue to claim if only one parent is working, or your children are over 5.

The only difference is which website you log into.

Also, is this going to cost businesses? At the moment they are taken off salary so do employers currently save on their employer contributions as well as the employee?

lljkk Sat 23-Mar-13 13:05:38

Does anyone recall.... pre 2003, what childcare subsidies were there for anyone? I recall only 4 or 5 funded preschool sessions from the second term after child's 3rd birthday. Was there anything else? There was so much hype about childcare element of ctc & the vouchers precisely because they were so very novel (?)

Entitlement culture indeed?

True. But it was also reported that nursery fees have doubled in that time.

Salaries certainly haven't.

Plus house prices, fuel etc.

So entitlement culture, maybe alongside 'don't know you're born' and 'alright for you'

MrAnchovy Sat 23-Mar-13 18:41:16

"Also, is this going to cost businesses? At the moment they are taken off salary so do employers currently save on their employer contributions as well as the employee?"

Yes, there will be no NI saving for employers in the new scheme. However the NI savings and indeed reputation of the existing scheme have been compromised by the 2008 European Court descision and resulting legislation requiring employers to provide vouchers during maternity leave which puts many small employers off.

lljkk Sat 23-Mar-13 18:44:41

Devil's Advocate: have govt. subsidies artificially kept nursery prices high?

MrAnchovy Sat 23-Mar-13 18:50:25

"What I'm saying, is the 'old vouchers continuing' is nonsense if it doesn't mean you can continue to claim if only one parent is working, or your children are over 5."

Well yes that would be nonsense but nobody is saying that. To be absolutely clear on what is currently proposed, if you are receiving "old style" vouchers before the new scheme commences you will be able to continue to claim the "old style" vouchers through the existing scheme under the existing rules.

MrAnchovy Sat 23-Mar-13 19:02:24

"Devil's Advocate: have govt. subsidies artificially kept nursery prices high?"

Personally I think the effect has been more subtle. I think that free provision for 3 and 4 year olds resulted in the creation of more lower cost childcare much of which was not of good quality. This has enabled better quality providers in areas with high demand to raise prices. In the last few years, some of the poorer quality nurseries have closed and some have raised their game to compete with longer-established providers, and perhaps raise prices themselves.

lljkk Sat 23-Mar-13 19:35:12

Around here the committee-run preschools (very cheapest providers) have moved to provide all day care, they were pressured to do this about 8 yrs ago (I was on committees then). Parent just pays for the 45 mins of lunch, or so (maybe, no more than £2). It's enough time to subsidise paid work for some.

I don't perceive that the proper nurseries actually charge that much more per hour for age 3-4, maybe wrong though. It's under 2s that are very expensive to get childcare for.

SpaghettiMonster Sun 24-Mar-13 11:40:44

I don't know about the rest of the country, but I personally know a nursery owner in London who has in the course of just 3-4 years gone from virtually nothing to being a millionaire several times over on the back of all the childcare subsidies. The only way to get rich quicker is to win the lottery. Subsidies don't help parents one iota - they just push up the prices to line the pockets of the providers (just as cheap lending pushes up house prices).

fruitstick Sun 24-Mar-13 13:03:44

I think you're right spaghetti.

The same goes for care homes for the elderly.

An awful lot of people are getting incredibly rich providing necessary services to those with little choice.

Welovegrapes Sun 24-Mar-13 13:40:08

I used to know an owner of a nursery chain through work - loaded entrepreneur!

Xenia Sun 24-Mar-13 15:41:56

I think they make about £3k to £4k profit per child (some of them). Some of course will be badly run and not make any profits. Nothing to stop mumsnetters doing this. Far too many women earn nothing and just moan about not having money. If they think it's easy making it running nurseries go and run some and see.

Welovegrapes Sun 24-Mar-13 15:48:08

Or Xenia, why don't we have good state run nurseries as in some other countries. That's what I want.

Xenia Sun 24-Mar-13 15:54:41

Does the state ever do anything any good?

We can always rustle up state nurseries when we need them as a nation eg during WWII. As the state does not need them and there are not many jobs even for those who want to work I doubt there is the demand.

ReallyTired Sun 24-Mar-13 18:27:36

I think that making it easier for schools to set up their own nurseries (and keep! the income) is a good step forward.

I like the private sector being involved in early years care. It gives parents a certain amount of choice about the type of pre school education they want their children to have. However some nurseries are uttely extortionate and not moviated to keep costs down.

fruitstick Mon 25-Mar-13 13:58:00

I think that's a good idea to.

Our school as a pre-school which provides wrap around care from 2 years 9 months.

So, very soon after that age, 5 sessions are completely free and you just pay top up for wrap around if you need to. It's £2 to stay over lunchtime (so to do a full day) and you can bring packed lunch if you need to.

They are not run to make massive profits for private companies.

DrCoconut Thu 28-Mar-13 00:08:40

DH will be a full time student from Sept. He needs to real ill and change career as his industry is going nowhere. We will lose our child care tax credit as he will be deemed unemployed but my income will probably be enough to stop him getting the child care element of student support as you really have to be near destitute to qualify it would seem. We can't pull DS out of nursery as I have to work and DH really needs to do the course. Given the economic climate people in education should be considered working as they are not just doing nothing and will hopefully lessen their need for state help in future.

DrCoconut Thu 28-Mar-13 14:14:04

Real ill? Stupid auto correct. I mean study obviously.

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